World Tag League night 8 preview

Penultimate night of league action in Beppu

Friday December 4 sees the penultimate night of World Tag League action in Beppu. With six teams tied at eight points and eight of the ten entrants still with a chance at the finals, it’s been a highly competitive league and Friday will be no exception.

Watch World tag League Live and on demand with NJPW World! December 6 & 11 with LIVE English commentary!


Main event: HenarACE (Toa Henare & Shingo Takagi) (1-6) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi & SANADA) (4-3)

HenarACE are mathematically eliminated

The main event in Beppu sees HenarACE, still fighting for pride and a second league win, against Shingo Takagi and SANADA. The two pairings to watch in this match have to be Tanahashi with SANADA, and Shingo with Henare. Last October, a singles battle between Henare and Shingo Takagi is what the Maori Warrior credited with giving him a new attitude that he took with him into 2020, only for global circumstances to stop his year before it properly started. Back in the country, Henare has done everything right this tour except get victories for his team; now as time runs out on HenarACE’s campaign, there’s no win Henare wants more than over Shingo.

Then, Tanahashi. In Yokohama during the G1, he fell in defeat to SANADA, but did so in a match that cemented Cold Skull as someone worthy of finalist status in the tournament of tournaments, and reminded his believers that Hiroshi Tanahashi is still worthy of the name ‘Ace’. Tanahashi wants nothing more than to redress the balance with Cold Skull tonight. Though mathematically eliminated HenarACE will treat this as a must win contest, and that could make them very dangerous to LIJ’s final prospects indeed. 


5th Match: THE EMPIRE (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) (4-3) vs Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (4-3) 

A battle between two teams at eight points, THE EMPIRE’s collision with the Guerrillas of Destiny might not eliminate either team, but could well make the journey very difficult. So what to expect from this first time matchup? G.o.D have performed well with their backs against the wall to get to eight points after some tough losses, while O-Khan and Cobb have recently broken their own run of consecutive losses by beating EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi. Having already taken out Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens, a in over G.o.D will compete their BULLET CLUB bingo card, and will add to their resume of wins over dedicated tag teams after their victory against FinJuice earlier in the tournament. The sheer strength of this team has been a force to be reckoned with for everyone, and the Guerrillas have their work cut out for them as they seek to break their World Tag League curse. 


4th Match: FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) (4-3) vs CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) (5-2) 

Though former tag team champions in their own right, few would have expected that Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii would be quite so effective in the World Tag League as to be the first team to ten points and thus firmly in control of their own destiny, but that is indeed the case. A win tonight all but gives them a guaranteed place in the final on December 11, unless complex ties at 12 points can demote them to third. They’ll be looking to secure their spot to the best of their abilities tonight. 

On the other hand, FinJuice, buoyant after a victory against IWGP Tag Team Champions Dangerous Tekkers in Korakuen November 30 have recovered from a difficult 2-2 position to get to eight points and will not have any designs on stopping. A win will let them join at minimum a three way tie at ten, and make the situation for Fukuoka’s last league matches Sunday all the more interesting. 

3rd Match: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) (4-3) vs BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL) (3-4)

BULLET CLUB need to win to stay in contention

In a night full of uncertainty one thing we can be assured of is the fact that EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi need a win over YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto, or they will be eliminated. Already with hopes somewhat dimmed with a best possible score of 1o points, a BULLET CLUB loss would put them out of touch of even second place, something EVIL, a four time finalist and two time winner of this tournament, does not want to happen. For the CHAOS duo, a consistent evolution of tag tactics through the tournament has put them on the doorstep of the Budokan final; can they ring the bell tonight?

2nd Match: Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (4-3) vs BULLET CLUB Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (2-5)

Fale & Owens are mathematically eliminated

The first World Tag League match of the evening matches the last; one team at eight points looking to secure a place in the finals, and one already eliminated looking for the biggest scalp they can get in the time remaining. Fale and Owens have evolved impressively as a team this tournament, but the discovery of the Grenade Launcher has come a hair too late to put them in contention. What the move could do however is spoil the IWGP Tag Team Champions. The gold around the waists of ZSJ and Taichi make an ample target.


1st Match: Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs Yota Tsuji & Gabriel Kidd

After close to a month of Gabriel Kidd and Yota Tsuji tasting endless lariats from Satoshi Kojima on the card openers during this tour, the two Young Lions now finally team up to take on Kojima and Tomoaki Honma. Can they put what they’ve learned on this tour together to score an upset? Or will Kojima’s arm have enough in it for one or two more swings? We find out in the opener.